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The Hirshon Lebanese Qurban Holy Bread – قربان


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 cups bread flour (TFD prefers White Lily brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, soft
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 pebbles of mastic, 2 pebbles of musk crystals and 2 pebbles bakhoor (incense rock) ground with a teaspoon of sugar in a marble mortar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mahlab
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 cup orange blossom water (Cortas brand strongly preferred)
  • 1/8 cup rose water (Cortas brand strongly preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Proof the yeast in ¼ cup of water warmed at 110F and a dash of sugar.
  2. Mix the flour with the sugar, mahlab, ground mastic, musk and bakhoor, nutmeg, dash of salt and baking powder.
  3. Add the rose and orange blossom water in a small container. Measure the milk and let it sit at room temperature or make sure it is not too cold. Ideally, you want it at 110F.
  4. Place the flour mixture in a mixing bowl and add the yeast, milk, butter and rose water mixture and mix the dough until smooth. Let it rest one hour.
  5. Divide the risen dough into small balls. Let them rise 2 hours.
  6. Shape the balls into flattened disks and let rise one hour.
  7. Sift a thin layer of flour on the disks and press the holy seal (if you have one and are using it) firmly on each disk.
  8. With a toothpick, poke each disk 5 times all around to help prevent it swelling up while baking. (5 times to symbolize Christ who was nailed 5 times to the cross)
  9. Let the disks rest and preheat the oven to 400F, making sure the disks are placed on a heavy-bottomed sheet.
  10. Bake the bread for 10 minutes or so until golden.
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